<p>This article examines an application of appreciative inquiry (AI), a contemporary approach to organisational change that is increasingly evident in the business world, as a participative means of school improvement. AI appears relevant to contemporary themes in literature on school improvement such as self-evaluation, capacity-building and distributed forms of leadership. </p> <p>Appreciative inquiry is introduced and its literature reviewed, with reference to its growing use both in business and in American schools. The authors then report on `Imagine Meadfield ’, the first known large-scale appreciative inquiry undertaken in an English secondary school, with particular reference to the experience of the head teacher (first author) who led this process. The article critically reviews this experience in order to assess the potential of AI for school improvement.</p
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